Monday, January 20, 2014

God's Economy

God's Economy by Gerald Sutek

September 17, 2010 at 8:35am
Please feel at liberty to copy, post, forward, teach or live this brief essay.


I first traveled to Europe in 1991 and since then have lived here for a total of nine years.  In Europe in ’91 there were as many different currencies and economies as there were countries.  This meant that if you traveled any significant distance you would run into money complications with each change of economy.  This is still largely true in Eastern Europe. I have traveled recently with four different currencies in my pocket. This is nothing less than confusion (1Cor. 14:33).

My support comes mainly in U.S. dollars, but I pay my rent in Euros. We buy our groceries with Romanian Lei.  When I travel to Hungary I exchange for Florint, to Moldova for Lei, to Slovakia for Koruny, to Great Britain for Pounds, to the Philippines for Pesos (are you confused yet?).  I have to exchange for each of these currencies in order to function under each country’s economy.  It is neither simple nor cheap to exchange money and you lose money EVERY TIME.

Well, I have good news for Christians who trust God (Pr. 3:5,6). God has His own economy, and anyone desiring to exchange the world’s economy for God’s economy only stands to gain.  Like all things associated with God, the exchange is Simple, Stable and Substantive (Pr. 8:21).

The world’s economy is summed up in a few words, “Get all you can; keep all you get”.  But many years ago I made the switch from Hagai 1:6 to Luke 6:38 (go ahead and look them up).  God’s economy makes absolutely no sense to the world; but then the world’s economy makes absolutely no sense to God.

There are three basic, but essential components that must be in place in order for God’s people to operate on God’s economy.
Pardon me, I must use my family as an example because I know no other’s personal finances.  I learned to tithe while serving under Dr. Bob Gray back in 1969.  On my particular job, I got paid in cash about every hour (this would be both difficult and needless to explain). This made it easy to spend but I found it hard to find any tithe left on Sunday.  So I disciplined myself to put a tenth of my hourly pay into a jar every hour and set it aside.  It was an extra trouble, but in doing this I found a treasure, that being Philippians 4:19.  This verse is not a magical verse for everyone in any circumstance and for all occasions. It worked, rather, for those who were faithful to supply Paul’s needs as a missionary; read verse fifteen in the context.  Soon, after learning the basic of tithing, I learned to give to missions above my tithe. Our family’s missions giving has only grown and has never diminished through the years, so that although we, too, are missionaries on the foreign field our family missions giving would rival some small churches’ missions giving.

When the good Lord directed us to serve Him as missionaries in Northern Ireland, we had the lowest income of any missionary on our mission board.  We tithed first and promised to remain faithful in our committed support of many missionaries.  Northern Ireland was a very expensive place to live: e.g., when we exchanged our dollars into pounds we cut our income in half. Then, when we went to the grocery store, we cut it in half again.  Gas prices in NI in 1991 equaled five dollars a gallon.  We never went hungry, we had all that we needed, and we never were short on gas for the ministry.  We traveled throughout the entire island and also traveled to some extent on mainland Europe, preaching publickly the glorious gospel.  Luke 6:38 works!

Missions giving is very much a Bible principle and is very much blessed by the Lord.  The good Lord also has very much to say in His Black Book about benevolence to the “poor”, “widows”, and “the fatherless”.  We struggled with finding the “poor” as we served the Lord in America, i.e., just who are the poor and how can you really tell if their requests are genuine?  This dilemma was quickly solved when we traveled to the Philippines, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.  In these areas, the poor are much easier to distinguish.  We asked the Lord to show us who was truly poor, and when He did, we gave.  We were faithful to support the widows of graduated missionaries who were on our list.  We faithfully support orphans in two different third world countries.  These important ingredients add much nutrition to those in subjection to God’s economy.
Pro 10:4  He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

God’s economy does not mix with the world’s economy.   You must choose one or the other.  You cannot use the world’s economy to tickle your fancies by using credit, then turn to God and expect Him to pay off your credit cards with interest.  For example, the next time you want to buy something on credit, walk into the loan office and give the loan officer your Christian testimony first.  Then tell him you are a Bible believer and that you know Philippians 4:19 works and that Heb. 13:8 is true…butttttt then say, “Would you please loan me the money for this item, because evidently the Lord doesn’t want me to have it now.  He may not want me to have it at all, but I don’t care. I want it now, and I will agree to pay you any amount of interest that you demand.”  You might as well be honest about it.  After all, if you lie to them, or to yourself, you will just have that much more to answer for at the judgment seat of Christ. God pays sin debts, but He is not obligated to pay for presumptuous violations of His economy.  Many Bible verses deal with the violations of His economic rules and the dangers of indebtedness, but Romans 13:8 settles the matter.

if you leave out the vitally important ingredient of contentment.  The world’s economy is generated by the constant frustration of discontentment.  Every advertisement is a malicious, aggressive act of war against contentment (Hebrews 13:8, Philippians 4:11, 1 Tim. 6:6-8).  The battle rages as the relentless enemy routs weak, adulterous (James 4:4) Christians who are continuously, and willingly, deceived by a world that is never satisfied.  Discontentment with what a loving, all-knowing, and all caring Master and Saviour has freely provided is nothing short of a self-imposed addiction.  Most Christians could not sing the hymn, I AM SATISFIED without lying, even if their salvation depended on it.

Prudential Life Insurance Company advertised by showing a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar.  The caption read, “Get a piece of the Rock for your car…home…etc.”  Well, one of the best advertisements for God’s economy is that it is built upon the Solid Rock --and the world’s rock is not Our Rock (Dt. 32:31).  God’s economy has always been, and will always be, stable.

Missionaries are always concerned about the exchange rates.  Americans are paranoid about gas prices. Worldly investors check daily on the price of gold and the Dow Jones Average (whatever that is). Yet the Lord’s fingernails remain unmarred in the midst of any oil catastrophe, political wrangling, hurricane, or earthquake.  Did you ever wonder why the stock market suddenly goes down because there is a recall of widgets or another uprising in Tibet? Where is the connection?  Don’t you realize that the Mafia manipulates the stock market, inflating and dropping values as it profits them?  Who can possibly understand the decisions of the Federal Regulatory Commission?  Don’t fool yourself; their machinations and manufactured confusions are beyond the understanding of a graduate economist and are designed to play a vital part in the coming One World Economy.  If you think that any government or investment company has your best economic interest at heart, you are not loving the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Maybe if you had your investments in God’s economy, you might read His reports and check on the price of God’s gold first thing every morning just as you read the news for the Dow report.

Who ever heard of zero unemployment? God!  God is an equal opportunity employer and has a permanent sign outside His office reading, “NOW HIRING”.  I hear there is double digit unemployment in the good ole’ USA.  In some areas the unemployment has soared upwards to 20%.  Oh, my! What will we do?  Even Christians are having a hard time finding a job.  So you are out of a job and you have looked everywhere.  God has a solution for you, if you want it.  Go to the good Lord and tell Him your plight.  Be honest, and convince Him that you have sincerely tried to find work, but it simply doesn’t exist close to where your good church is located.  Then get a box of tracts and hop on your teenager’s mountain bike (that he doesn’t use anymore) and go pass out tracts with the same work ethic with which you served the world.  Do you really think God is going to use your services without giving you proper wages? You’re nuts!  Man is the one who violates clear scripture…not God.
Jer 22:13  Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;

Written by Gerald Sutek Th.D., Ph.D.
A foreign missionary serving the good Lord by faith.
Post a Comment